The Germantown Petition Against Slavery: Crash Course Black American History #5

In 1688, in Pennsylvania, a group of four men created the Germantown Petition, which made the case that slavery was immoral, and that it was inconsistent with Christian beliefs in general, and Quaker beliefs specifically. While the petition wasn’t ultimately adopted by the Quaker hierarchy, examining the document and its authors’ goals gives us a better insight into slavery in the colonies and some of the earliest organized attempts at abolition.

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Sources and References

-Ira Berlin, “Slavery, Freedom, and Philadelphia’s Struggle for Brotherly Love, 1685 to 1861” in Richard Newman and James Mueller, eds., Antislavery and Abolition Philadelphia: Emancipation and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice in the City of Brotherly Love (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011).
-Ira Berlin, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998).
-Robin Blackburn, The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation, and Human Rights (New York and London: Verso Books, 2015).
-Katherine Gerbner, “Antislavery in Print: The Germantown Protest, the ‘Exhortation,’ and the Seventeenth-Century Quaker Debate on Slavery,” Early American Studies, vol. 9, no.3 (Fall 2011): 552-75.
—- Christian Slavery: Conversion and Race in the Protestant Atlantic World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.
-Richard Newman and James Mueller, eds, Antislavery and Abolition Philadelphia: Emancipation and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice in the City of Brotherly Love. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011.

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